Seizure precautions are an integral part of the fundamentals of nursing; learning them will help you ensure your future patient’s health and safety.
Remembering the nursing seizure precautions and interventions is not only important for passing your classes in nursing school and dominating the NCLEXⓇ, it’ll come in handy in your furure RN or LPN career. So, let’s cover the basics, shall we?
What You Need to Know About Seizures: Categories of Seizures
A seizure is a sudden, uncontrolled electrical disturbance in the brain resulting in changed behavior, function, and impaired consciousness. Seizures are categorized into two groups: generalized and focal.
Generalized: There are different subtypes of generalized seizures; the most common subtype is tonic-clonic seizures. Generalized seizures arise from both hemispheres of the brain. Consciousness is lost from these seizures, and they are often caused by metabolic or genetic disorders.
Focal: Focal seizures are also known as partial seizures. Partial seizures occur in one local area from one hemisphere of the brain. Consciousness is impaired during these seizures and can be lost entirely. Symptoms of focal seizures may include changes in sensory sensations and abnormal body movements.
Nursing Seizure Precautions and Examples
Seizure precautions are safety measures taken before a patient experiences a seizure. These precautions should be implemented every day for individuals who have epilepsy or in hospitals for those who are at risk of seizures.
In everyday life, individuals must take precautions when bathing, cooking, and even driving. As a nurse, you must educate your patient on how to take the proper precautions when they’re at home. For example, people with epilepsy can put chairs in their shower or cook on the back burner to prevent potential injury.
On the other hand, seizure precautions in the hospital setting are quite different. Precautions vary from hospital to hospital, but there are several precautions every nurse must take to minimize harm in seizure-prone patients.
At the patient’s bedside, healthcare professionals have the following:
- Full resuscitation equipment
- Cardiac monitoring in case of cardiac dysfunction
- Bag and oxygen in case of oxygen deprivation
- Padded bed frame in case of uncontrollable body movement
- Bed frame positioned closer to the floor in case of fall
- Suction in case of aspiration
Seizure Protocol for Nurses
A seizure protocol is followed by nurses to ensure the patient’s safety before and after the seizure. Nurses must prevent trauma or injury during the seizure, promote airway clearance, provide privacy, and enforce patient education after the seizure. Educating your patient and their family members about at-home seizure precautions, drug administration, and triggers will help your patients be healthy and safe!
During a seizure, remember to stay with the patient at all times. An unmonitored patient can get hurt, so you can yell for help if needed. Use the following nursing interventions during the seizure to help your patient.
Nursing Interventions for Seizure Activity
- Turn your patient to the side to reduce the risk of choking.
- Loosen clothing from the neck, chest, or abdominal areas.
- If your patient is standing or sitting while experiencing a seizure, move them gently to the floor.
- Move furniture to provide adequate space for the patient.
- Support their head with a pillow or soft cushion to reduce the risk of head injury.
- Provide supplemental oxygen if the patient is struggling to breathe.
- Administer drug therapy (usually benzodiazepines) to control seizures.
For more information, read Picmonic’s helpful lesson highlighting seizure interventions.
Nurses should keep an eye out for warning signs such as:
- Jerking movements
- Confusion or haziness
- Rhythmic, uncontrollable movements
- Rapid eye blinking
- Breathing issues
- Stiffness of the body
Nurses must monitor the seizure activity, length, events before and after, and patient status. All of this important information should be documented accurately and descriptively.
We understand this is a lot of information to digest, and you’ll need it to succeed in nursing school! To help you remember your nursing seizure precautions and interventions, use Picmonic’s visual learning system. Memorable stories and characters will help you retain the information you need to pass your course, take exams like the NCLEX, and be an amazing nurse.
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